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Welcome to my stop on the Tsar’s Guard Parade! I have been excited for this book since, well, I don’t know, before Evelyn even wrote it? Fine, fine, at least since it landed on Goodreads. I find Russia endlessly fascinating, and the whole concept sounded badass.

I don’t really know why, but something about Russian history always appealed to me. Maybe because so much of it is shrouded in mystery and secrecy, and it’s just all so beautiful, and I don’t actually know. But I know that my love was confirmed when I went to St. Petersburg!

I didn’t know if I would read the book before this post, but thanks to Val, I had the chance (and look for my review during the tour (with another giveaway!) this Wednesday!) Spoiler alert: I loved the book. Not just because it was in Russia, but we’ll save that for Wednesday. Today, let’s talk Russia!

I love when, while you’re reading a book, you have actually been to the setting. You can somehow picture things a little more clearly, and maybe just appreciate it a little more. And the most amazing part was that in all the places in Russia they could have been, a large chunk of this book takes place in St. Petersburg! And while, yes, they’re fictional, they stood in places that I stood too, and looked at rivers and buildings that I looked at. So, I figured it might be nice to give you a chance to see some of the amazing sites that you’ll find this cast of characters walking among!



And in case you want to look at a lot of pictures, or at these in a bigger size, feel free to look through the album I created!! 

Now, the book! 

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17th 2016
Pages: 416

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

About Evelyn Skye

Evelyn Skye is the author of New York Times bestsellers THE CROWN’S GAME and THE CROWN’S FATE. Her new series, CIRCLE OF SHADOWS, will be published on January 22, 2019.

Evelyn has a B.A. in Russian literature & history from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win.

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1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME. International.

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Follow the Tour!!

Have you guys read books about places you’re familiar with? Do you enjoy it as much as I do?

Posted February 28, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Funsies, Giveaway / 20 Comments


20 responses to “The Tsar’s Guard Parade and Giveaway: Shannon Does Russia

  1. This book sounds so great! And the giveaway is international! Yay. I love all your pictures of St. Petersburg. My husband and I are thinking of taking a cruise next year that will involve a couple of days of St. Petersburg. Your pictures make me want to go even more!

    • DO. IT. That is what we did, and it makes it so much easier to get a visa- because you’re TECHNICALLY not sleeping in Russia. You’re sleeping in the water. Idk why, but the Russians seem to prefer that? But if you DO, I highly recommend a private tour. We heard from people on the ship who saw like, less than half the stuff we did- it was so great to have a private driver and guide, and not much more expensive! Let me know if you have any questions- because we did a whole Northern Europe thing!

      OH, and the book is awesome 😀

    • Indeed! It was amazing- so different than ANY other country I’d been to. Our driver got pulled over, for doing literally nothing wrong. He says it happens all the time, the police need NO cause to stop you or detain you. Though he HAD been doing shots of vodka earlier, but apparently no one cares about that either! It was definitely an experience!

      And good call with the book, it was REALLY good!

  2. You are sooo lucky, Shannon! I admit that I’ve only been to 3 countries and that sucks! I do have a plan in the future, though!

    I love reading about books set in places I have been to because it feels more alive IMHO because, I’ve been to the places! I remember seeing My Girl 2 when it came out (LOL am I that old?) and Volcano, all set in the La Brea area in LA AND i told myself I WOULD GO THERE, And I did!!

    Most of my books and travel experiences are in the US, though, and I have been to multiple States where some of the books I read are set. ?

    • AWW! It will make it that much more amazing in the future, if you think about it! I LOVE travelling, I really wish I had money for it now- or that my parents would splurge for another trip like this 😉

      That is SO fun about My Girl 2! I love that! There are definitely places where I would want to go because of books and movies too!

  3. AWWW LOOK AT SHANNON IN RUSSIA. And yes, thank you for the shoutout. You know I always give you the best. 🙂

    I’m also glad you really enjoyed reading The Crown’s Game, I did too! Although I think I may have thought it was a little too long for me, lol. AND I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR REVIEW ON WEDNESDAY.

    • You really do, Val! ♥♥♥ Bwhahah I think every book is a little too long for you. Maybe we should obtain shorter versions for ALL books? That may be the way to go 😉

      And I think sometimes you ARE my mom even though I am your mom. Because really, who is the more responsible one in this duo? Hint: it isn’t me.

  4. OH my gosh thus is amazing! I am super obsessed with all things Tsar, have been since I saw Anastasia all those years ago. I think hear of all history reports I did we on the Romanov family. Anyway THIS trip looked epic. I bet is was so amazing to see all those gorgeous things. The winter palace is one of my favorite places!! Glad it looks like you had Ana amazing experience! Xoxo

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